I hesitated before deciding to post this link
for the usual reasons, but I think there are useful lessons.
I'm not in a position to criticise the specific actions here - I don't think anybody is, who doesn't know the backstory - but I would like to try and make some general points, some of which I think this clip illustrates
in open roadsteads (provided there's good holding) is probably more uncomfortable but less dangerous than most people assume. For instance, the vessel in the picture, despite the conditions* is not dragging or snatching. There are ways to alleviate snatching if it is a risk.
(*although it's clearly not a "storm", except perhaps in youTubespeak –there may be a storm on its way)
in open roadsteads may be preferable to the alternatives: particularly crossing a dangerous river bar to attain a "safe" anchorage
(there is no alternative at Pitcairn)
3) It's not a good idea to leave such a vessel unattended, and whoever is onboard should be strong and savvy enough to move the vessel without external help (this latter point is difficult on large boats, and a counsel of perfection ... it may be overridden, say if there's a medical
emergency). If there had been just one person onboard to take a line, the reboarding would been less dangerous
4) Whether or not the vessel is left unattended there MUST be several ways for a waterlogged person overboard
to get on board safely – even if it requires rigging
ladders or improvising scrambling nets.
To anyone disposed to assume the guy in the clip is any sort of weakling, it's worth noting how quickly he was able to get himself back onto the inflatable
each time, although he must have been getting tired.
5) A well-handled inflatable
with a reliable outboard
is surprisingly competent. The prop however is very risky to any swimmer.
It might have been preferable to grapple the boat near the bow using an improvised grappling hook, and then lain alongside abeam (on a long line) with the engine
out of gear
while attempting to board. Not having been there, it's hard to know whether this would have been practicable.
(A second grapple up into the rig when lying alongside, with a knotted line, might be helpful if the freeboard is really problematic)
6) Anyone travelling between ship and shore in marginal conditions should carry their own flippers / swim fins (ideally in a 'scabbard' worn as a backpack) as well as a buoyancy aid.
Better than a buoyancy aid is a thick wetsuit with extra padding at knees and elbows, and perhaps even a helmet. If the worst happens, you may have to fight your way onto dry land over rocks.
It is not wise to rely on a dinghy
or a motor
, especially in situations when the nearest land to leeward is a long way off.
7) It's a good idea to leave plenty of room to leeward (even if the wind
shifts to the worst direction) so that you can get your anchor
on board in time. Remember this may require weighing with something along the lines of a sailing ship's voyol block and messengers and nippers, if the windlass
is inoperable or inadequate.
As a last resort, you may have to buoy, cut and run, and hopefully return in better conditions to retrieve your gear
. The bitter end of the chain should be secured to a rope
pendant long enough to come out of the locker onto the foredeck.